Breast prostheses are commonly constructed of silicone gel in a plastic skin and used to simulate breasts. A large variety of off-the shelf breast prostheses are available in a range of shapes and sizes. Customized breast prostheses are created by taking an image of an individual's breasts and sculpting a mirror image. They can also be designed to match color, and are specially weighted so they feel and move like the other breast.
Custom and off-the shelf breast prostheses come in varieties designed to be held in specially designed mastectomy bras, or worn with a standard bra while attached to the skin.
There are different types of breast prosthesis:
a temporary prosthesis is a soft, light prosthesis given to a woman at the hospital to wear for the first 6 weeks or so after surgery
a permanent prosthesis is properly weighted and fitted to match the other breast
a lightweight breast form is specially designed for swimming and can be worn inside a swimming costume
a partial prosthesis (also called a shaper, bra booster or shell prosthesis) may be suitable for some women after breast conserving surgery.
Breast prostheses can help improve balance and posture, and many women find that wearing a prosthesis helps them feel better about how they look after surgery.
Choosing the right prosthesis will depend on a number of things, including the type of surgery a woman has, her body shape, the cost and individual preference. It’s important for women to have their permanent prosthesis fitted by a specialist prosthesis fitter.
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